Terry Collins: Mets Might Have To Consider Wheeler, Young Arms ‘Pretty Soon’
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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – For the Mets, it’s been Jon Niese, Matt Harvey and pray for rain — or snow.
Or perhaps Zack Wheeler?
Mets manager Terry Collins already sounds frustrated with the back of his rotation, and for good reason. Of the team’s seven wins, six have come in games started by Niese or Harvey. It’s been a much different story with Dillon Gee, Jeremy Hefner and Aaron Laffey on the mound.
“We’ve gotta get it figured out,” Collins told WFAN’s Mike Francesa on Wednesday. “There’s no question. We’ve gotta get these guys in a better groove. We’ve gotta get them where there’s more consistency going. You know, we’ve had to skip starts and move ‘em back. We’ve gotta get more consistent.”
The Mets have insisted Wheeler, the team’s top pitching prospect, would remain at Triple-A until he’s undoubtedly primed for the big leagues. Collins was asked Wednesday about bringing up some young reinforcements — Wheeler, specifically.
“Let’s just say if this continues, certainly we’ve gotta start visiting that here pretty soon,” he told Francesa.
The Mets’ matchup against the Rockies was postponed Wednesday due to wintry weather. Monday’s tilt was called and made up as part of a doubleheader Tuesday, which was swept by Colorado. The team’s game against the Twins Minneapolis on Sunday was rescheduled — also due to snow — for Aug. 19.
“We don’t make excuses here,” said Collins. “We’ve gotta play better and we’ve gotta pitch better. That’s the whole game. You look at the teams that are playing well right now, that’s because everybody’s pitching better.”
It hasn’t been pretty. Gee is 0-3 with a 8.36 ERA. Hefner? He’s 0-2 with a 6.00 ERA. Laffey has given up 14 hits in 9.1 innings to go with a 4.82 ERA. Johan Santana was lost for the season with yet another shoulder tear and Shaun Marcum’s health remains a question mark.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson wouldn’t tip his hand on Wheeler.
“It was always a case that it would be Zack’s sufficiency and the major-league team’s need,” said Alderson, according to the New York Daily News. “If those two things merge, the need and the performance converge, then it is a possibility.”
He added of a potential call-up: “That could happen sooner or it could happen later.”
Wheeler wasn’t great in his first two starts for Las Vegas, battling a blister on his pitching hand. He rebounded Sunday, striking out eight in 5.1 innings of three-run ball.
There’s also the business side to consider. The Mets could lose a year of control or hand Wheeler an extra season of arbitration eligibility if they bring him up too soon.
“I don’t think anything has changed in the philosophy,” said Alderson. “Zack Wheeler will determine when he comes to New York.”
Mets fans, what’s the smart move here? Be heard in the comments…